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Forest Whitaker’s work as an artist and social activist in the spotlight at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt

Our CEO/Founder, Forest Whitaker, participated as guest of honor in the first El Gouna Film Festival organized by the Red Sea in Egypt by businessman and philanthropist Naguib Sawiris, with whom WPDI is entering a partnership to support our activities in South Sudan.

The festival ambitions to become an unmissable annual rendezvous for film professionals and film lovers from Egypt, the Arabic countries, and the world at large. It was established to underscore the role film plays in promoting cultural interaction, fostering an awareness of different cinematic voices by encouraging dialogue and by building bridges of creative energy. 

Furthering their dual ambition to promote artistic and humanitarian goals, the organizers of the Festival chose to invite Forest Whitaker in his holistic capacities as an artist, a producer and a social activist.

On Thursday 28th, he presented his views as an artist and as a humanist at a masterclass organized in the context of the “CineGouna platform,” which offers artists and professionals of the Middle East and Northern Africa region an opportunity to learn from international figures and experts.

A day before, Forest Whitaker and Naguib Sawiris officially announced that they are joining forces to promote lasting peace and sustainable development in South Sudan. They stressed that this partnership would strengthen the youth leadership program developed by WPDI to empower the young women and men whom we train and subsequently mentor as mediators and entrepreneurs.

The press conference was attended by more than 100 journalists, providing a window to showcase our work to the audiences of the region.

On Friday 29th, the closing day of the festival, Forest Whitaker received an award for his lifetime achievements. In his acceptance speech, he evoked the multifaceted aspects of his artistic and humanitarian careers and dedicated the award to the young peacemakers with whom he works in Africa and the Americas.